“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."
"Indications of changes in the earth's future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness, and with the precautionary principle uppermost in our minds. Extensive climate changes may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states.
"Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming. Whereas in the 1980s global warming seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent.
"Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians. He became aware at an early stage of the climatic challenges the world is facing. His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change. He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.
By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC and Al Gore, the Norwegian Nobel Committee is seeking to contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind. Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man’s control.
Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Oscar for Best Documentary. The former vice president used the opportunity to warn that global warming is "the greatest challenge we've ever faced." Gore said he was " deeply honored ... We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity."
The Nobel Prizes (Swedish: Nobelprisen), as designated in Alfred Nobel's will in 1895, are awarded for physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace.
Says Wikipedia: "The five initial Prizes were instituted by the final will of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist and industrialist, who was the inventor of the high explosive dynamite. Though Nobel wrote several wills during his lifetime, the last was written a little over a year before he died, and signed at the Swedish-Norwegian Club in Paris on November 27, 1895. Nobel's work had directly involved the creation of explosives, and he became increasingly uneasy with the military use of his inventions. It is said that this was motivated in part by his reading of a premature obituary of himself, published in error by a French newspaper on the occasion of the death of Nobel's brother Ludvig, and which condemned Nobel as a "merchant of death." Nobel bequeathed 94% of his total assets, 31 million Swedish Kroner, for the establishment of five prizes."
Did you know that Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times between 1937 and 1948 but never won it? It is suggested that it was likely that they would have given him the Prize in 1948, the year in which he was assassinated. The committee apparently considered a posthumous award but ultimately decided against it, instead choosing not to award the Nobel Peace Prize for that year.
Previous winners of the Nobel Peace Prize include (go here for a complete list):
2006:MUHAMMAD YUNUS and GRAMEEN BANK for their efforts to create economic and social development from below;
2005:INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY and MOHAMED ELBARADEI for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way;
2004:WANGARI MAATHAI for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace;
2003:SHIRIN EBADI for her efforts for democracy and human rights; and,
2002: JIMMY CARTER JR., former President of the United States of America,for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.